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Arts and Entertainment

Brad Pitt Reportedly Under Investigation For 'Getting Verbally Abusive And Physical' With His Kids [UPDATED]

Brad Pitt at the Le Mans 24 hour race in June (Getty Images)
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The saga of Brangelina's divorce is now past the rumors of infidelity phase: Now TMZ reports, "Brad Pitt is under investigation by the LAPD and L.A. County Dept. of Children and Family Services for allegedly getting verbally abusive and physical with his children, and that's what triggered the divorce."

Update: see below.

On Tuesday, it was revealed that Angelina Jolie filed for divorce from her superstar husband, citing "irreconcilable differences," asking for sole physical custody of their six children and noting a date of separation as September 15. TMZ details an incident on September 14:

Sources familiar with the situation tell us, Brad, Angelina and their kids were on a flight last Wednesday when he allegedly got wasted on the private jet. He allegedly went wild, screaming and getting physical with the kids. We're told the plane landed at an airport around 8 PM, and witnesses say Pitt continued his rant on the tarmac, and even tried leaving in one of the fuel trucks.

Our sources say someone either on the plane or the tarmac anonymously reported the incident to the L.A. County Dept. of Children and Family Services. We're told Brad and Angelina have already been interviewed and DCFS plans to interview the kids as well. That investigation is ongoing.

TMZ adds, "We're also told the LAPD has the case ... which is routine when anyone reports child abuse. We do not know the specifics of the alleged abuse ... just that it was supposedly both verbal and physical."
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Angelina Jolie, who is a UNHCR special envoy and Goodwill Ambassador, at an Al- Azraq camp for Syrian refugees in Jordan earlier this month (Getty Images)
A source close to Pitt told People, "He takes the matter very seriously and says he did not commit any abuse of his children. It's unfortunate that people involved are continuing to present him in the worst possible light."

Other reports claimed that Jolie was divorcing Pitt because he cheated on her with his co-star, Marion Cotillard, while making the upcoming film, Allied. Cotillard broke her silence, with a statement on Instagram, "am not used to commenting on things like this nor taking them seriously but as this situation is spiraling and affecting people I love, I have to speak up. Firstly, many years ago, I met the man of my life, father of our son and of the baby we are expecting. He is my love, my best friend, the only one that I need... I do very much wish that Angelina and Brad, both whom I deeply respect, will find peace in this very tumultuous moment."

Jolie and Pitt met in 2004 while making Mr. & Mrs. Smith, and their chemistry was so apparent that there were rumors that Pitt was cheating on then-wife Jennifer Aniston. However, both denied any affair and only officially became a couple after Pitt's divorce. The couple married in 2014.

In the next issue of People magazine, sources from both stars offer vague references to what happened: Someone from the Jolie camp explained, "Things built and built over time - it wasn't any one thing. She's loved this man for several years, and [divorce] is not something you do impulsively," while a Pitt insider said, "There was clearly a breaking point, where she'd just had enough. He may have been broken himself and said he couldn't go on, and she reacted. This has been difficult for a while."

In the cover story, sources detail how Jolie told Pitt she wanted a divorce, why he "begged" her to wait and how their relationship began to crumble after their 2014 wedding. They faced increasing differences over parenting styles (with Brad taking a "stricter approach versus Angelina’s "more relaxed attitude," according to another insider), the direction of their careers and more.

Divorce attorneys say that given Jolie's and Pitt's high-profiles, it's likely they'll try to settle their issues outside of court. But custody, of their six children, three of whom are adopted, will be a sensitive issue; one attorney told the LA Times, "Especially when you have kids who’ve been adopted, they have a fear of abandonment, and putting them through another go-round of that, that’s really hard on kids in general, especially adopted kids. I hope that Angelina and Brad can work this through."Update [9:35]: The LAPD denies that Brad Pitt is currently under investigation. Sgt. Barry Montgomery told The Hollywood Reporter, "We understand how rumors get spun up, and hopefully we can put a few of them to rest. We have no investigation involving Mr. Pitt."

The Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services would not confirm nor deny reports that they were investigating Pitt, citing state confidentiality laws, but a source tells People magazine that the "DCFS investigation is absolutely ongoing" and that Pitt has cooperated.

TMZ's Harvey Levin told KNX 1070 that despite the LAPD's denial that they are investigating Pitt, he believes the case was handed over to the police from the Department of Children and Family Services.

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Update [10:10]: TMZ is now reporting that the case has been handed over to the FBI because it happened in mid-air—outside of the LAPD's jurisdiction—on a flight from France to the United States.

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